FRIENDS at a school in Taunton have held a moving ceremony to remember a student who died suddenly.

They planted a tree in the grounds of The Castle School in memory of Charlie Keay, aged 14, who died at his home in Staplegrove Road on Friday, September 29.

The ceremony on Monday coincided with a private funeral for the youngster, who was a popular member in Year 10.

Castle head teacher Sarah Watson told the County Gazette: "Charlie was a very nice lad, well-liked by his friends, who are all very sad about his death."

She added: "We will probably hold a memorial later on when the grief is less sharp to give our students a chance to celebrate what Charlie brought to the school."

Mrs Watson paid tribute to the way students, staff and parents have reacted to support each other following the tragedy.

She added: "The school has put in place a whole series of support for all the students, Charlie's friends and tutor group.

"The kindness of staff and children deserves recognition and the support and quality of work from counsellor Jo Arnold and welfare officer Annette Horseley has been exceptional."

Students have been directed to websites to help them handle their grief, with Mrs Watson recommending the Koth online forum, which is moderated and allows children to discuss their problems, as well as publicising details of how to contact The Samartans.

The cause of Charlie's death has still not been ascertained and an inquest will be held at a later date.

Writing on the school website following Charlie's death, Mrs Watson said: "It is always a shock when someone so young dies.

"His friends will be very upset of course, and his tutor group and many of his year group but there may well be other children who are reminded of bereavements and sadness."

The headteacher also urged parents to talk to their children and said they have counsellor on hand to help any children affected by Charlie's death.

"I have reminded the children that people show grief in different ways and I have asked that everyone in the school community is especially kind and gentle with each other," Mrs Watson said.

"Please be respectful of his family and friends and let them have the time and space to grieve in private.

"I would appreciate if you were a little patient with us too while we are supporting the children and, of course, many staff will also be deeply affected."

If you would like to talk to anyone about bereavement you can contact Somerset CRUSE bereavement on 01458-898211 or e-mail